MAY 20, 2019 — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has defended its decision to ban provincial buses along EDSA.
The move is part of the government’s efforts to reduce traffic in Metro Manila. Though some are not thoroughly convinced that this alone could ease traffic congestion.
“Lalo pong magkakagulo. Kung hihinto lahat sa north and south, you will need a lot of smaller vehicles. Lalong dadami ang traffic.” says Philippine Councilors League president Luis “Chavit” Singson said.
Several lawmakers also questioned MMDA traffic chief Edison “Bong” Nrebrija” at a hearing of the House committee of transportation.
AKO Bicol party-list Rep. Alfred Garbin, Jr. asked why the MMDA only focused on provincial buses which only comprised five percent of the total number of vehicles traversing EDSA.
“Bakit ho natin pinag-iinitan ‘yung 5 percent na dumarating sa EDSA? Baka dapat doon ho tayo magfocus sa 95%.” Garbin asked.
Nebrija clarified that the MMDA was not targetting provincial buses per se, when it tried to implement the ban on 47 provincial bus terminals across the highway.
“We believe the terminals is a magnet to all other activities that create congestion on EDSA.” he said.
Garbin added that transferring the provincial bus terminals to areas outside the metro would “just transfer the traffic elsewhere and the confusion elsewhere and at the end of the day it will end up in EDSA.” he said.
Both Surigao del Sur 2nd District Rep. Johnny Pimentel and Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza think that the policy should be given a chance. “Let’s give it a chance…these are illegal terminals now. We must have a solution.” Aienza said.